There’s nothing like new concrete to get everyone in the hood itching to be the first to bless it with some fresh paint. This was definitely the case with the new walking bridge in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, where a pair of young writers couldn’t resist being the first to tag it. And after doing so, they couldn’t resist bragging, posting numerous shots of their work on Flickr within a couple hours of their handiwork. It’s no surprise that local police chief Scott Nadeau felt “a sickening feeling” on seeing the brand-new $3 million dollar bridge already covered in graffiti, and top investigator Greg Sinn was assigned to the case. A quick glance at Google was all Sinn needed to find the taggers’ Flickr page, showing photos of the illegal art next to legal work commissioned by a convenience store.
A couple of subpoenas later, Dustin James Jack, 24, and a 17-year-old friend were identified as the two writers. A search of Jack’s home found him literally with paint on his hands, and many more cans of spray paint in his van. But most incriminating were the 11,000 pictures and videos on his iPhone, showing him writing graffiti in nearby cities, all clearly marked with time, date, and location stamps. Jack now faces one count of felony criminal property damage, and his partner has already pled guilty in juvenile court. “Some of the work is amazing,” Sinn said of the young writers’ work, “but I don’t want it on my property.”
If you’re gonna get up, don’t forget to cover those tracks, both online and off, y’all!